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Jun092017

Eleven-year-old physically challenged New York Yankee fan to throw out first pitch on Sunday

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Eleven-year-old Landis Sims will throw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium on Sunday, June 11 when the New York Yankees face the Baltimore Orioles.

It will mark a special moment in the life of the young baseball player from Indiana, who is an avid fan of the Yankees, and refuses to let physical challenges limit his participation in the game.

Sims was born without hands and legs. He can still bat, run the bases, and throw, competing and excelling with other kids his age.

With his hard work, determination, and the efforts and assistance of the Challenged Athletes Foundation, an organization that provides opportunity to people with physical challenges, Sims will be tossing the first pitch with the glove he uses to throw.

Sims and his mother, Amanda Haag, spoke with ABC News ahead of Sims' first pitch, discussing their emotions leading up to Sunday and his young baseball career.

Haag says her son is not nervous leading up to the pitch, in part because he probably does not realize the magnitude of what he is about to do. However, she contends, that is just Landis. She told ABC News:

"With him, usually when it comes to baseball, and just kind of him with sports in general, it's just him just doing it... When he gets into that type of thing doesn't really think about what's going on around him. And I think really it'll be him just think 'This is really cool just throwing from a Major League pitcher's mound."

She adds that he has always carried a "Watch me. I can do this, and I don't tell me I can't" attitude and that he seems "laid back" leading up to the game.

Landis does not sound too worried either. The longtime Yankee fan says he has been to Yankees spring training in Florida, and even stepped on the field at the facility a few times. He admits that it will be a little different standing in front of a regular season crowd, but says he has been practicing by throwing "a lot of long throws to see how accurate I can get it."

Haag noticed Landis' passion for sports and competition from a young age, and watched him work each day to prove his abilities to his coaches. By age 8, he was pitching. As he got older, he tried different sports, playing tackle football last fall, and he is currently a member of his school's basketball team.

On June 11, she will accompany her son as they take their first trip to the Bronx to throw out the game's first pitch. The Yankees host the Orioles at 1:05 eastern in the Bronx.

Landis' trip to New York does not stop there. The following day, he will join former Yankee Nick Swisher at the MLB Draft. Swisher surprised Landis with a phone call, personally inviting him to be a part of the Draft.

On June 13, Landis and his mother will attend the 11th Annual Heroes, Heart and Hope Gala Benefitting the Challenged Athletes Foundation in New York City.

The Gala puts the spotlight on athletes like Landis, honoring their effort and achievement in sport.

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